CRM software is now the largest software product in the world, with revenue expected to reach more than $80 billion by 2025. More than 46% of sales teams report using CRM software on a widespread basis to fuel sales and marketing activities. And of those that use CRM consistently, their average return on investment is $8.71 for every $1 spent.
But let’s back up for a minute: results are only achievable when you have the right CRM in place AND your sales and marketing teams have chosen to adopt it. Your team needs to know how to use CRM effectively and make it a daily priority.
As a result, only the best marketing CRM will allow you to experience the sales and growth you expect. And while each company may have its own definition of what makes the best marketing CRM, this guide can provide you with inspiration to fuel your decision-making and priorities:
Understand the Role of Marketing CRM Software
Before you dive into specific solutions, it’s important to set the right expectations for a marketing CRM. Simply put, marketing CRM software is used primarily to run campaigns and generate leads. Nearly three-quarters of CRM users say that CRM gives them better access to customer data, and can shorten the sales cycle by up to 14%. Ideally, your CRM will work in tandem with a sales CRM that will push leads to the next stages in your funnel.
The majority of businesses use CRM to fuel sales and marketing activities. On the marketing side, CRM can automate email campaigns, analyze email and landing page performance, track lead sources to see where your best leads are coming from and engage with prospects that are not ready to speak with a sales rep.
Recognize Your Requirements of a CRM
Every business will have unique requirements from a CRM, so it’s important to think about your own needs as you explore solutions.
First and foremost, you should decide whether or not you really need a CRM. A CRM can provide a number of benefits to sales and marketing teams, the last thing you want to do is choose a CRM simply because other businesses use them. The best way to decide if you really need one is to try one for yourself to see how it improves or disrupts your sales process. The best marketing CRM will be one that simplifies the way you do things, rather than adding tasks and complexities.
Here are some priorities that can help you figure out your needs:
- Difficulty in accessing customer data
- Client communication falling through the cracks
- Difficulty retaining customers
- Making the same mistakes
- Long sales cycles
- Lack of visibility into sales and marketing performance
If you experience any of the above, a CRM might provide an optimal solution.
Review the Software Features
Once you decide you need a CRM and get specific on your business needs, you can start to shortlist the features that will help you achieve your greater objectives. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all CRM, which is why it helps to get specific on your needs before you start exploring solutions.
We covered CRM features in a previous post, but some of the ones you want to research include:
- Mobile access
- Third-party integrations
- Lead management
- Marketing automation
- Sales tracking
- Reporting and Analytics
- Contact management
In addition, you’ll also want to consider things like security, ease of use, and the ability to upgrade as your business needs change.
Implementing any type of new software comes with inherent challenges. It’s new territory for your company and the sales and marketing reps who will be using it. Ideally, you will partner with a CRM provider that can provide ongoing support throughout implementation and lunch, along with support as your business grows.
Because most CRM software is in the cloud, this allows CRM providers to tweak and refine their software without you having to invest in any major upgrades. Your CRM will likely undergo several changes as companies make these upgrades, as new features become available, you’ll be glad to know you have a CRM support team that can help guide you through these changes.
Compare Cost to Value
Many companies make the mistake of looking at bottom-line cost when choosing the best marketing CRM, but there’s a major difference between cost and value. In many cases, it makes sense for companies to pay more for a CRM solution if it means gaining more value from it.
Again, this comes down to truly understanding your unique business requirements for a CRM and the return on investment you expect from it. Too often, businesses adopt CRM systems that don’t completely meet their needs, and they’re often dissatisfied with the results. A CRM can only be worth the price you pay if it can deliver on your objectives and add real value to your bottom line.
Try the Best Marketing CRM For Yourself!
The best way to figure out if a CRM will meet your needs simply to try it for yourself. At LeadSquared, we offer a free 15-day trial of all of our features so you can see how they work and make an informed decision for your business.